MEET OUR TEAM

CECILIA CUFF
CEO AND FOUNDER

“ My guiding mantras are: business as a force for good and leadership through mentorship”

CeciliaCuff

CECILIA

Cecilia Cuff is a 20-year veteran of the hospitality design industry, and an established pacemaker in the world of hotel and restaurant development, with a diverse global portfolio of over $30B in completed new builds, renovations, and overhauls. Cuff honed her skills while designing, erecting, and executing concepts internationally for corporate brands such as: Grand Lux Cafe/ Cheesecake Factory, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Belvedere Property Management and Taos Ski Valley. She has spent her career dedicated to service, hospitality growth and community development.

As a multifaceted entrepreneur, and CEO of the Nascent Group, Cuff employs her experience in strategic business and city planning, as she emphasizes community reciprocity, inclusivity and ecological sustainability. She draws extensively on her regimented foundation of successful systems design, based around creating SOP’s, administering operations with strong checks and balances, forecasting, meeting KPI’s and establishing accountability for reporting.

Cuff’s aptitude in restructuring systems to be both profitable and equitable, has led her to successfully execute concepts in both North & South America, and many of the surrounding islands. Her rich work history is further supported by her Bachelor’s of The Arts in Public Relations, Communications and Business Management, earned at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Along with key partners, Cuff owns a number of renowned businesses, including the Stakeout Wedding and Event Space in New Mexico, and the highly anticipated Bronzeville Winery in Chicago

In the process of designing numerous placemaking projects, Cecilia discovered that many of the most brilliant entrepreneurial minds she encountered simply lacked cogent support and adequate funding. These entrepreneurs needed a team to believe in their vision, and help make their incredible ideas come fully to fruition through technically sound strategy and innovation. The development of Cuff’s firm, The Nascent Group, was the natural evolution of her passion for diversity and inclusion, and her unwavering belief that there was infinite potential for sustainable community impact, through conscious business development.

Today, the Nascent Group, works closely with a diverse range of clients— from city planners to emerging minority entrepreneurs. The team’s solution-oriented approach to complex issues has led them to success in the hospitality, retail, nonprofit and development worlds, where they reimagine and strengthen operations, and reprogram socioeconomic trajectories in an expansive range of communities.

Contact: cecilia.cuff@thenascentgroup.com

GREAT SERVICE CAN ONLY COME FROM A GREAT TEAM

Barbara Zuleta -
Project Manager

Barbara Zultea is a highly efficient project manager, with experience organizing, streamlining and directing multiple, simultaneous, large scale projects for corporate clients across the globe. Barbara approaches each client with enthusiasm, professionalism and an exceptional work ethic. She references her history in both corporate sales and large scale project organization, as she works with C Suite executives to ensure that the scope, direction and budget of each of their projects is in line with key proposals and goals. Barbara has worked with a wide range of renowned corporations, including the Hotel Cayena, in Caracas, the Grand Hyatt, in Playa del Carmen, and the commercial real estate agency Master Broker, in Tulum. During her time with Master Broker, Barbara managed and trained a team that sold over 238 million dollars worth of real estate. Barbara received her Bachelor’́s Degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Universidad Nueva Esparta in Venezuela. Her adaptability, warmth, and conflict resolution abilities, combined with her high level organizational skills and expertise in strategic planning, allow her to maximize the success of her client’s corporate, social, financial and political ventures at any and every level.

Jasmine Michaels -
Director of Marketing and Communications

Jasmine Michaels is a solutions oriented fundraising and public relations specialist, who has worked with firms all over the world, from the historic Firle Place Estate in Lewes, England, to Mode Lifestyle Magazine in Miami, Florida. Jasmine’s goal is to recognize her client’s visions, and communicate those visions clearly to funders and the press. Jasmine merges innovative, tactical public relations with professional grant writing and content creation, in order to elevate and streamline businesses at all stages of their growth. She is experienced in the production of high quality deliverables that clearly communicate her clients values, bringing their businesses to life through language. Jasmine earned a B.A in English Literature and an M.S. in Marketing from Florida International University in Miami. She is currently earning a PHD in Women’s Spirituality from the California Institute for Integral Studies, curating skills that she uses to help entrepreneurs clarify their goals and realize their potential for positive community transformation. Jasmine is passionate about spiritual entrepreneurship, a process which allows her to merge tactical strategy with artistry and emotional intelligence, to support her clients as they positively impact their own communities, with creativity and aligned vision.

Andree Leong -
Executive Assistant

Andree Leong is a skilled executive assistant, with time-tested expertise in general administration, account management, corporate level research, and virtual project management. Andree has worked with a number of firms, including Carve, Highve Inc, and Ecom Conquest, where he connected students with business coaches, while working as Lead Administratrator. Andree leverages his strong organizational and research skills to both conduct in depth client research in a variety of fields, and format information for internal and external communication.

Emani Figaro -
Consultant and Financial Advisor

Emani Figaro is a creative and innovative, detail oriented brand strategist, whose awareness of current trends, best marketing practices, and cultural movements allows her to identify cutting edge ways that brands can appeal to their audiences. Emani possesses a rich and varied experience in brand development, marketing, social media strategy, and creative consulting, supported by a foundation in economics, all of which combine to give her a unique take on the connection between profitability and a great brand strategy. She has developed data analytics solutions, planned and coordinated community engagement projects, designed demand management models, and supported in deliverable creation for a number of renown companies. Her portfolio includes experience working with Nike, Deloitte, The Boeing Company, and Solomon’s Temple (a holistic emergency and transitional facility that partners with Morehouse and Spelman organizations). Emani is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs with the tools they need to elevate themselves and achieve economic abundance through both marketing and branding, and financial literacy. Thus, in 2019, Emani Co-Founded Scholars & Dollars, a 12 week program that currently builds the financial literacy and competency of young adults, in collaboration with Spelman College’s Bonner program. Emani graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Spelman College in Atlanta, and received her concentration in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.

About Our Network

We are renowned for our vast and quality controlled network of diverse associates – a web of powerful resources that gives us the ability to help our clients achieve success in any and every field. Our associates include:

  • Architects
  • Web Developers
  • Community Organizations
  • Non-Profits
  • Lenders
  • City Councils
  • Local Government Agencies
  • Local and National Banks
  • Designers
  • Photographers
  • Event Planners
  • Event Technicians
  • Environmentally Sustainable Developers